Categories
MAKE TO SELL

Evolving a business using Cricut

Jess and Emily, both from the Forest of Dean, set up their business -Bespoke Bride – several years ago, offering tips and tricks on crafting items for your wedding. However, it was the purchase of the Cricut Maker that enabled them to adapt their business model and begin creating and selling custom products for weddings and hen parties 

As a result, they’ve brought in over £57,000 to their business and have continued to expand their online shop. We spoke to Jess and Emily about their business and how their Cricut is now an integral part of their offering.

Bespoke Bride

Jess and Emily are successful business owners and together make the dynamic duo behind Bespoke Bride, a one-stop shop for bridal and hen parties to source personalised designs and gifts which the pair make with their Cricut machine.  

However, like millions of small businesses, they were forced to adapt their business model when the pandemic hit. “We had to close for two months as no one was having any weddings,” Jess explains. The good news is that Bespoke Bride is back up and running, and sales remain strong despite the pandemic. “This month’s orders have been great,” she adds. “People are definitely trying to embrace the situation a bit more.” 

How Bespoke Bride came to be 

Bespoke Bride wasn’t always in the pipeline; Jess used to be a wedding photographer and Emily used to make eco-friendly wedding stationery. “We actually live near each other in the Forest of Dean and I got in touch with Jess to ask if she could take some photos of my stationery”, Emily explains.  

It was their shared passion for creativity that got them thinking about starting their own enterprise together. “Even though we had different careers we were both DIY crafters through and through,” Jess says.

“I knew that blogging was great for growing a business and that we would work really well together so I asked Emily if she wanted to work with me.” 

And so Bespoke Bride was born.

However, setting up their own business together brought plenty of challenges. “We literally had no idea what we were doing at first and it was definitely a steep learning curve,” Jess remembers. Nevertheless, the two of them managed to get the hang of things. It was perfect timing as Bespoke Bride began to take off meaning that Emily and Jess began running the business full time together. 

Taking the business mainstream with Cricut 

“During the first couple of years we were probably doing one DIY a week at a time”, Emily says. But it was after they were introduced to Cricut that things really started to take off. “When we got the Cricut Maker our minds were completely blown. We couldn’t believe how many things that it could cut, as well as the different fonts that we could use. I remember both of us just saying to each other, ‘the things that we could do with this’!” 

The Cricut Maker has been an essential part of their business for several years. They have even taught workshops in the past so that users can make the most of their machines too. “We get so many people asking us about Cricut and whether it is worth the investment,” Jess says. “I always say to them, ‘absolutely’!” 

Branching Out

Bespoke Bride has marked its 11th birthday, and Cricut has played a huge part in enabling Jess and Emily to successfully adapt their business model.  “Our main income five years ago or so came from advertising on the blog,” Emily explains. “However, we began to see across the wedding industry that people weren’t paying for wedding adverts anymore. We had to diversify”.   

They used their Cricut Maker to create custom cocktail glasses featuring Beyonce. Jess explains: “We uploaded a DIY tutorial on how to make them and uploaded them to the blog and it just completely blew up. We had so many comments from people wanting to buy them. It got us thinking that maybe launching a shop would be a good option for us to get some extra revenue”. 

The pair started using their Cricut Maker to cut stickers out of vinyl. They created different movie quotes and song lyrics for weddings and hen parties . They have gradually expanded their offering to include stationery, games, printables and clothing. The shop is now their main source of income, bringing in over £57,000 to their business.

“Without the Cricut Maker, none of this would have ever happened. We use it three or four times a week now to create new items for our online store,” Jess adds. “We’ve recently started doing custom eye masks and the Cricut EasyPress has been great for ironing on each design. Our customers absolutely love it!”  

Jess and Emily’s advice for growing your business using Cricut

For those looking to start their own business using Cricut, Jess and Emily have some tips. “Following your passion is so important,” Emily stresses. “Make sure that you’re making things you love and enjoy creating!”  

However, it is not just about the products. “Try to take a lot of photos of your creations from different angles,” Jess advises. “You want to really give the potential buyer a great look at how awesome your product is! Even if you’re just using your phone, always photograph your products in a good light. It can also help to get a good quality photo editing app to make your images light and airy.”  

“We also think it’s great to share behind the scenes of you using your Cricut machine on your socials,” Emily adds. “People are always intrigued as to how a product is made and seeing a Cricut machine in action is always fun!” 

Abstract Vinyl Glasses Design

Business investment

If you’re an event planner or organiser looking to level up your business, Jess and Emily see it as a worthy investment. “We truly believe that having a Cricut machine can improve your business in so many ways,” Emily stresses.

“When I got married the majority of decorations were made using Cricut. We made place settings, table plans, glass decorations with vinyl, placemats and stationery to name a few! We can only imagine the possibilities an event planner would have, especially with the range of materials it can cut. It’s literally an event planner or stylists’ dream.” 

“Having the Cricut machine has definitely driven us to grow financially,” Jess says. “But more than that it has allowed us to provide our followers with another element to Bespoke Bride where they can personalise their hen parties and weddings so much more!” 

Jess & Emily created a handy Media Kit Checklist on their blog to help businesses compile helpful content for press. Be sure to also follow them on Instagram and pay a visit to their website: www.bespoke-bride.com.

Abstract Cushion Cover Design

There are three Bespoke Bride Ready-to-Make projects in Design Space. With these designs you can recreate Jess and Emily’s look around your home:

Create an Abstract Cushion Cover: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/5af1652dd97ec52825dca9c2

Make Abstract Vinyl Glasses (seen above): https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/5ae03e8258fff7443af5fbe0

Abstract Mobile Phone case

Craft an Abstract Phone Case: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/5ae042bf9ab659276f25f776

For more information about using your Cricut for business, visit our Make to Sell pages where you will find tips and advice as well as other creative businesses using Cricut.

Categories
MAKE TO SELL MAKER STORIES

Combining a business with your job

For many businesses, juggling other responsibilities, whether that be family commitments or other jobs, is a fine art.

We asked Mike Aspinall, the fabulous creator behind The Crafty Gentleman brand, how he manages to combine his business with his job.

Hello. I’m Mike

Crafter Mike Aspinall - The Crafty Gentleman - in his craft room.

I’m a crafter, blogger, and soon-to-be author! I run a craft business and DIY blog called The Crafty Gentleman, where I share hundreds of free projects you can make yourself at home. I’m also one of the ambassadors for Cricut here in the UK (which is a dream role!).

Alongside my craft business, I also have a part-time day job in digital marketing. I work from Monday to Thursday, which leaves Friday as my main crafting day. Unsurprisingly, it’s my favourite day of the week! It’s also usually the busiest day too. I invariably have a lot to catch up on, and cram into one day…

A (Fri)day in the life

It’s a cliche, but every day is different when it comes to running my craft business! Some days will be spent catching up on admin, like invoicing and taxes, emails, and project planning. Others will be spent creating and photographing new projects for the blog. That could be anything from sewing in my craft room, to woodworking in the garden. And other days are spent at TV studios, having interviews, or doing live recordings. I love how varied this career is – it keeps things fresh and doesn’t leave any room for boredom!

My advice for anyone wanting to combine a business with a job is that it’s all in the planning.

Plan to succeed

The one thing about my crafting Fridays that is constant, is that they actually begin the night before. I always take 10 minutes to write myself a list of what I want to achieve the next day. This helps me hit the ground running as soon as I get out of bed, and allows me to be as productive as possible.

Generally, I’ll set myself 1-2 ‘big’ goals for the day. For example, a project I want to make, or a series of blog posts I plan to write. I’ll then add in a few smaller, quicker items – like emails I need to send, or some admin tasks to get done. I’ll invariably set myself more to do than I actually have time for, but I’m learning to accept that that’s okay!

There’s only so many hours in the day, and it’s impossible to be 100% productive, 100% of the time.

I’m also a big advocate for batch working (grouping together similar tasks and working on them at the same time). So I’ll often have a ‘sewing day’ one week, then a ‘photography day’ the next. Then maybe a ‘writing and editing’ day after that, and so on. Although let’s keep things real: it’s not always this fun, there’s also the ‘admin and taxes’ days…

My book project

Not only am I combining my business with a job, I am also writing a book…

Recently, a lot of my time has been spent working on my very first craft book (exciting!). The book is due to be published in spring 2021 – you can read more about it here.

I’m currently in the thick of writing the book. I’ve designed all of the projects and made half of them. (I can’t wait to share them!)

I’m definitely starting to realise how much time and effort a book demands, especially as I’m designing, making, and photographing all of the projects myself! It’s a challenge juggling it alongside my other craft work, and my day job. But I’m really enjoying the process so far, and it feels like a natural progression from writing a craft blog for so many years.

Cricut x The Crafty Gentleman

I’m fortunate enough to have worked with lots of really cool brands over the years – but Cricut is, by far, the most significant.

My partnership with Cricut goes all the way back to 2017 when I first worked with the team on a few sponsored blog posts. Since then, I’ve represented Cricut on Hochanda TV, run Cricut demos at lots of events across the UK, designed projects for Design Space, and even spoken at the global Cricut conference in Utah (best week ever!).

The Cricut Maker is my must-have craft gadget. It’s no exaggeration to say that my Cricut machines are some of my most-used craft gadgets. I’d struggle to run my business without them. Especially my Maker, which I turn to again and again. It helps me create customised and professional makes for so many aspects of my business. This includes my online shop, where I sell a range of accessories for crafters, as well as props and tutorials for my blog. I’ve also used it for lots of ad-hoc projects, from organising my craft space right through to making a shop window display for a local business!

(I’ve also written a detailed guide to the various Cricut machines, which is now one of my most-read blog posts of all time!)

I’m endlessly thankful to the Cricut UK team for their generosity and support over the years. They really are a great bunch to work with! Going forward, I’m really excited to continue working with them on future product launches and events. (Hopefully, we can start doing physical events soon…) And, even after all these years, there’s still so much more I want to make with my Cricut machines – I’ve got so many more ideas that I can’t wait to share!

More information for uisng Cricut in a business

To see more examples of small businesses using Cricut, head to our Make to Sell pages or this blog post where we showcase a number of creative businesses using Cricut products including Mike’s Iron-On decals and ready-made gifts for crafters.

Categories
INSPIRATION

From simple suitcase to cute doll’s house

Hi, I’m Rumana, a passionate sewing and craft blogger. I discovered the amazing craft world as a university student and now use craft & sewing to de-stress after a long day at work as a GP. I love sharing my passion for crafting through my Instagram and blog, The Little Pomegranate, as well as being a campaigner for increased diversity within the sewing and craft communities.

Today I’m sharing a quick and easy project to add a bit of fun and personality to a wooden suitcase but can be used to upcycle any box. My daughter loves to carry her little soft toys and peg dolls in it.

To make your own, all you need is:

  • Any Cricut machine (I’m using the Cricut Joy)
  • Permanent vinyl in the colours of your choice (I used colours from the Smart Vinyl in Beachside sampler and Permanent Vinyl in white and brown)
  • Box or suitcase

Step 1

Pick a design for your house! There are lots of lovely images on Design Space. Search for ‘Box House Embellishments’ or ‘Sweet Tooth Boxes’. I used the door, window and flowers from #MAEFE875C and the garden bush from #MAEFBFF6C. The cat silhouette I used was #M78F348C. Hide the images that you don’t want to use from the sets.

Play around with the design you want to create. I made a quick template of the suitcase so I could get a better idea of what the finished project would look like.

Tip: For the white door frame I duplicated the door and hid the contours of the glass and the doorknob. I then made it larger so it created the border around the main door.

Step 2

When you’re happy with the design you’ve created click ‘Make it’ and the select the load type (select ‘without mat’ if you’re using Smart Vinyl or ‘on mat’ if you’re using normal vinyl).

Select your material and load it into the machine in the order as instructed by Design Space. Hit ‘go’ and repeat until you’ve cut all the different parts.

Step 3

Gently peel away the vinyl from the mat and prepare for weeding! I like to cut out the pieces to reduce waste when weeding. Keep the offcuts in an envelope for use in other projects.

Step 4

Weed all your pieces by removing the parts of the design that you don’t want.

Step 5

Cut some transfer tape and apply to the top of the vinyl. This will help when it comes to applying the vinyl to the box. You can even reuse the same piece of transfer tape a couple of times.

Step 6

Make sure the surface is clean and measure out where you want to put the door and windows. Once you’re ready, remove the vinyl backing and use the transfer tape to help you position the pieces.

Apply the vinyl, smoothing out any bubbles.

Step 7

Carefully remove the transfer tape and repeat for the other parts of the design until you’re finished!

Admire your little house! I bet you will be tempted to dress up the inside too now!

Categories
INSPIRATION

Time to make up with Infusible Ink

Create your own costmetic bag with Infusible Ink using these six easy steps! 

You will need: 

  • Cricut Infusible Ink Transfer sheets
  • Cricut Cosmetic Bag blank 
  • Cricut Maker or Explore Air 2 ( A smaller version of this project would be compatible with Cricut Joy) (see this post to learn about the differences)
  • Cricut EasyPress 9×9 or 12×10
  • Cricut EasyPress Mat 
  • Butcher Paper (which comes inside your Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet pack) 

Step One

Open a new project in Cricut Design Space, then search for the image ‘Moth Floral Outline’ and add it to the canvas.  

Step Two

Resize the image to around 6×7 inches. It is important when using Infusible Ink that your design is always smaller than the plate of your EasyPress. 

Now click ‘make it’ and mirror the image. Choose ‘Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet’ from the material list. 

Lay the Infusible Ink transfer sheet face-up on the mat. 

Step Three 

Load the mat into the machine and start cutting. Once the cut is complete, remove the mat from the machine, then remove the sheet from the mat. 

Step Four

Next cut around the image so that you’re working with a smaller sheet that’s just a little larger than your design. Then crack each sheet between your fingertips along the cut lines. This will help you to weed away the parts of the sheet you don’t need (the parts that aren’t on your design).

Step Five

Next, set up your EasyPress mat on a hard, flat surface and lay a piece of paper onto the mat to protect it from heat transfer from your project. Heat up your EasyPress to 205’C, then lay down your blank on the mat, ensuring it is flat and there are no creases. 

Use a lint roller all over the surface of your bag to remove any invisible fibres and dust particles that could interfere with or affect your design. Add the weeded sheet to the middle of the bag, putting the coloured side down onto the cosmetic bag.  

Cover the sheet with a piece of the butcher paper that came inside your transfer sheet pack.  

Top tip: Butcher paper is the same as baking parchment and makes a great alternative if you run out of butcher paper. 

Step Six

Press for 40 seconds, keeping the EasyPress completely still. 

Once the layer is cooled, peel away the butcher paper and transfer sheet to reveal your design which will now be applied to your bag.

Step back and admire!

Cricut Infusible Ink Cosmetic Bag tutorial

Here are a few more Infusible Ink cosmetic bag projcts to try:

Positive Affirmation Cosmetic Bag (and costers) https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/5fcad21805728203e8a059dd

Jane Austin Titles Cosmetic Bag: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/5eb461cadbb77a0fbcf25660

Simple Cosmetic Bag: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/5eb46d61089fe20de8825cc5

Categories
INSPIRATION

Half term ideas

As lockdown continues it’s hard not to feel like we’re all constantly living through Groundhog Day, and now that it’s half-term, you might be looking for inspiration to keep the kids entertained this week.

Whether you’re looking for games to keep the kids amused, a fun creative project that the whole family can get involved in, or are simply looking to buy yourself an hour of quiet time whilst juggling work with child care; we’ve rounded up a whole host of creative ideas for you to get creative with the kids and your Cricut machine.

Please be aware that Cricut cutting machines contain a blade and therefore should only ever be used under adult supervision.

Dream big

Fend off half-term boredom with homemade dream catchers. All you need are some embroidery hoops, paper, pipe cleaners, and beads, and then let your children have fun customising their creations.

Not only is it the perfect lockdown activity but they’re so easy to make – you’ll find it hard not to join in yourself! You can use your Cricut to cut out the paper and cardboard decorations for the dream catcher by following this easy Design Space tutorial.

Get in the game

Matching games are great fun for kids and they are good for testing their memory skills. Plus, they are really simple to make – simply cut 20 circles out of card and draw your own pattern or image, making sure that you draw double of each design.  Or get more adventurous and create supersized games for fun on the floor.

Here are a few Design Space tutorials to get you started:

Tumbling Tower wooden block game: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/5b11aa66e6261b3d8dc240f4

Memory outdoor game: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/5b11ab2de5a3f10f254e2360

Nature animal match game: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/57565332ee508efa43326a84

Popsicle match game: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/57565c84ee508efa433286d4

Keep it simple

Have as much fun crafting as playing by creating your own Tic Tac Toe which the whole family can get involved in!

If you’re looking for a sturdier material to design your games, foam is a great option to use.

Or cut your game in window cling material for a fun twist. For a keepsake you can add Os and Xs to buttons, small tiles, or even small toys such as cars, and keep them in a drawstring bag, which you could also cut out on your Maker before adding a decal cut from iron on and applied with an EasyPress or iron.

Tic Tac Toe in a bag: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/57563496ee508efa43321a82

Foam Tic Tac Toe: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/57564a44ee508efa433250df

Create custom cards

Everyone loves to receive mail and homemade cards are fun to make and environmentally friendly. With some stationery and card, kids can create an absolute masterpiece to send to their friends or family. Not only is it a great way to encourage their imagination, but it can be really therapeutic and relaxing for children as well. Plus they can practice their best handwriting! The Cricut Joy app has over 1,000 ready to make card designs so you can get creating straight away!  Why not make them from old magazines or wrapping paper for a unique spin and a handmade feel?

BFF Card: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/5fce77d3234fa504d8655088

3D daisy card: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/59724b438b1c7005600d9220

Back to basics with bookmarks

If your children are avid readers, DIY bookmarks are perfect for organising and keeping track of all the pages they’ve turned. Once they cut out their basic bookmark they can have fun with decorating their own design.  Why not take inspiration from their favourite literary characters?  

Read bookmark: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/59138f5c944e136adf55b0ad

Animal bookmark corners: https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/57566cabee508efa4332abcb

Make your own art

With Cricut Infusible Ink pens you can let your children’s imaginations run free. After they’ve drawn a design on standard copy paper, you can apply it to Infusible Ink compatible blanks such as coasters, Tote bags, T-shirts, cosmetic bags,  and cushion covers, using the high heat of a Cricut EasyPress.

Don’t have an EasyPress? No problem, simply take a photo of your children’s line drawing or handwiring and cut it in vinyl before transfering it to a notebook cover, waterbottle, plant pot, or similar. In years to come this will become a special memory of their art from this moment in time.  

Whatever you get up to this half term, we hope it’s creative!

Categories
MAKE TO SELL

Tools for the job when starting a business

What do you need to start a Cricut Business? 

If you have ever thought of starting your own business using a Cricut machine (and even if you haven’t) you’ll find these tips useful to get you off on the right foot and give you some motivation to just go for it.

Starting a business can be daunting, so we’ve compiled a list of the things you’ll need to get going and make your first sale! Be it a sticker business, T-shirt personalisation, or a business centred around using vinyl, we’ve got you covered! 

Starting a sticker business? You will need: 

Cricut Explore Air 2 or Cricut Maker. To create stickers, you’ll need to use the print and cut feature, and this is available on the Explore machines and the Maker. This feature isn’t available on Cricut Joy (but you can make labels using the pen and writable paper or vinyl).

Print and cut enables you to print out your designs using any standard printer and then use the Cricut machine to cut around them.  

It’s worth noting that the Maker can use this feature on any colour of sticker paper and will handle glossy finishes, unlike the Explore machines that can only use white sticker paper. 

  • Printable Sticker Paper 

You’ll need printable sticker paper that will run through your printer to print your stickers onto. There are lots of finishes available so find one that works best with your style!

  • Light Grip Blue Mats 

One light grip mat comes in the box with your machine, but we recommend having a couple of mats to hand as this will mean you can be preparing your next sheet while one cuts. These mats have a sticky layer that holds your sticker paper in place whilst it runs through the machine. 

  • Brayer tool 

The brayer tool is used to make sure the material is well stuck down onto your mat. You simply roll it over the material on the mat to stick it down and it can really help you get the best results with your cuts.

Starting a T-shirt making business? Your essentials are: 

Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker or Cricut Joy. All three Cricut machines can cut iron-on materials with ease!  

  • EasyPress 2 – available in two sizes: 9×9 or 10×12 

You’ll need an EasyPress to apply iron-on to your T-shirt blanks. We recommend the 9×9 or 10×12 sizes as these will cover your design so that you can press a T-shirt in under 40 seconds.  

  • EasyPress Heat Mat 

To accompany your EasyPress, you will need the EasyPress Heat Mat. This mat sits on a hard surface, protecting the surface from heat and makes sure you get an even press all over your design by dispersing heat back up into the project and helping to remove any moisture which may be in the material you are pressing. 

  • Basic Tool Set – Weeding Tool 

The basic tool set will be the implements you use over and over again, particularly the weeding tool. This piece of equipment helps you to pick away all of the little pieces of iron-on vinyl leaving your design behind.

  • Mats 

You’ll get mats included with your machine, but we always recommend having a few more to hand, this way you can line up iron on for your next cut!  

  • Iron-On Vinyl 

You will of course need Iron-on vinyl to complete your projects, this comes in a wide range of colours and finishes-such as glitter, holographic and foil so there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for your product. 

Selling vinyl decals, or adding them onto products? You’ll need: 

Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker or Cricut Joy. All three Cricut machines can cut vinyl. So you might want to consider the size of your vinyl decals or how many you would like to be able to cut at once. Cricut Joy, although the smallest machine, can cut Smart Vinyl up to 20ft in length – but is limited to a width of 4.5 inches. Whereas the Maker and Explore Air 2 have a cutting area of up to 12×24 inches. 

  • Transfer Tape 

This really isn’t an option. Transfer Tape is a must when working with vinyl! We’ve all tried to go without and line up our individual letters or pieces of our design by eye, but it’s never a perfect application. Transfer Tape allows you to take your cut design directly from the backing sheet and onto your product keeping all of the pieces in the exact same position.  

There are two types of transfer tape: Standard Grip which is what you’ll use for most vinyl, and Strong Grip which is what needs to be used for textured vinyl, such as glitters and shimmer.  

Transfer Tape is also reusable, so you’ll get lots of uses from a piece before it loses its stick.  Simple replace it on its backing and keep it sage for next time you do a vinyl project.

  • Basic Tool Set – Weeding Tool and Scraper Tool 

The basic tool set will be at your beck and call, particularly the weeding tool, This tool helps you to pick away all of the little pieces of vinyl leaving your design behind. The scraper tool will help you apply vinyl and Transfer Tape smoothing out any air bubbles in the vinyl.  A larger scraper tool is also available for bigger designs.

  • Brayer Tool 

The brayer tool is used to make sure the material is well stuck down onto your mat, you simply roll it over the material on the mat to stick it down. It will also help remove any air bubbles from your vinyl and helps ensure a perfect cut every time. 

  • Vinyl 

There is a wide range of vinyl to choose from, in many different colours and styles. You’ll also need to choose between permanent and removable. Permanent vinyl is best for products that will be washed, used outside, or need to be hard-wearing as it is long-lasting.

Removable vinyl is great for all other projects, or where it needs to be removed later on, from a wall for example!

We hope that helps you consider some of the things you can make with your machine. You may also find this post helpful, which features a number of small businesses using Cricut machines, tools and accessories.

Categories
MAKE TO SELL MAKER STORIES

From side hustle to successful business

Whilst the pandemic has presented challenges to many, for budding entrepreneur Laurel Mae it also provided the opportunity to take her passion for creativity in a new direction. Seizing the day, she set up her own business, LaurelMaeArt, selling cute and cozy stationery designs.    

The 25-year old from Derbyshire has always loved getting creative. “I began pursuing art when I was on my gap year and I started selling my creations on loads of different products,” Laurel explains.

Laurel Mae Art talks to Cricut about her business

This continued when she started her career in retail, and she began freelancing and taking commissions for bespoke custom portraits and illustrations.  

Setting up the side hustle  

When the pandemic hit, Laurel was placed on furlough from her job. “It was tough but I wanted to make the best of lockdown,” Laurel told us. “I wanted something to take my mind off things and I’d always toyed with the idea of opening a shop on Etsy. Being on furlough seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a chance and go for it.”  

Expanding her business with Cricut  

Her first products on her Etsy store consisted of custom prints that she designed, but Laurel was keen to branch out. “Ever since I opened my Etsy shop last year I wanted to scale up. I’d heard about Cricut from other people and it was on my wishlist for ages,” she explains. “I managed to save enough money to get the Cricut Explore. Once it arrived I couldn’t believe how many different designs and products I could make using just one machine! It was really exciting, and it definitely got me thinking about all the new things that I could create and sell.”  

As well as continuing to offer prints, Laurel started branching out and making stickers for her Etsy shop. That was when things really started to take off. “Print designs are quite a niche audience,” Laurel adds. “So when I started creating and selling my stickers, I noticed that I was able to reach a whole new audience with my designs and I saw a huge increase in sales.”   

The success of her online shop has seen Laurel branch out into a variety of different products including notepads, bookmarks and pins. “I wanted to be able to scale up the business, but I’m completely shocked by how quickly it has grown. Without Cricut I definitely wouldn’t have been able to make new items. I’m really proud of how successful this first year has been, and I’m so excited to see where the business goes next!”  

Laurel Mae’s top tips to growing your own business:  

For those looking to start their own side hustle, Laurel has a couple of tips. “It’s very easy to look at what other people are doing, but don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Success takes time, and it is important to remember that you’re just starting out. Stick to what you’re doing and don’t worry about other people!”  

Laurel also says it’s important to have targets. “Set yourself clear goals and build your way up from there. When I created a shop on Etsy, I set myself achievable milestones; I said that I’d sell a certain amount of products before I’d buy myself a Cricut. Once I reached that target and Cricut arrived in my life, I’ve been able to create even more, and reach more and more people.”   

You can follow Laurel Mae on Instagram and Tik Tok and her Etsy store is Laurel Mae Art.

For more articles on Cricut for business, visit the Make to Sell pages of the blog.

Categories
INSPIRATION

Love-ly gifts for Valentine’s at home

The most romantic day of the year is fast approaching, but February 14th isn’t just for those coupled up and in love. Whether you’re celebrating a traditional Valentine’s Day or showing your love for your BFF with a Galentine’s gesture, Cricut can help you show those you love just how much you care.

Create a card

It’s the quickest and simplest way to say “I love you”, and who couldn’t do with a bit of love and attention right now! There are over 1,000 pre-designed Cricut Joy cards on the app and on Design Space. Search ‘valentine’, ‘love’ or ‘friend’ to find the perfect one for you.

Can’t find the exact sentiment you want? You could create your own. Why not celebrate your mutual love for a Netflix drama series or include a quote or saying that means something special to you both.

Personalise the perfect gift  

Let’s face it, it’s always hard work picking a present, but adding a little touch of personalisation will help you put your own stamp on gifts this year. Encourage your loved one to snuggle up on the sofa with you by using the Cricut EasyPress to easily customise your TV blanket. Simply apply the iron-on layers to your blanket using the machine and voila!  Or pop a small gift in the post to your bestie after a little customisation to create the perfect personal gift.

Click here to make the Blanket

Click here for the Gals Forever image

Go Crackers!

Want to send sweet love notes but can’t think of how to send them? These cute DIY crackers can be filled with sweet nothings (or just sweets!!) and make the most adorable care package for your friend or can add a sense of celebration to a yet another cosy night in.

Celebrate at home

Whilst we’ll be spending Valentine’s / Galentine’s Day at home this year, that doesn’t mean that you still can’t celebrate. Add a sense of occasion to your at-home date night or make your Zoom call background sparkle with a little bit of red and pink bunting.

Gather some colour coordinated papers and whip up a banner to instantly set the mood. What’s more, you can even make some accompanying food toppers and drinks labels to really go all out with the celebrations! 

Click here to make the XO Valentine Banner

Click here for the Pink XO Foil Banner

Click here to make the Galentine Banner

We’d love to see your Valentine and Galentine projects! Just tag us on Instagram @officialcricut_uk or Facebook @officialcricuteurope!

Categories
DISCOVER

Reveal of new vinyl and iron-on materials

From crystals and bubbles, to mosaic designs, our newest material products are so much fun. These new finishes of iron-on and vinyl will give life to your projects like never before.  

Holographic Rose Bubbles Vinyl 

Holographic rose bubbles vinyl

This multicolour holographic vinyl with a bubble effect in a charming rose pattern brings eye-catching wonder to every creation. Available in multiple colourways this vinyl is great for giving a floral effect to bigger projects or for giving a textured holographic feel to smaller cuts. 

Crystals Vinyl

This multicolour holographic vinyl with a crystalline effect really packs a punch!  This stunning vinyl comes in multiple colours, all guaranteed to add lots of sparkle. 

This Moon Phase Wall Hanging made using Holographic Crystals Vinyl is available in Design Space.

Party pink Holographic Crystals vinyl is used here to create these adorable unicorns that feature on this Thermos. You can make it here.

Art Deco Vinyl 

Original, richly coloured crafts start here! This multicolour holographic vinyl with a lively ripple effect brings opulance to every creation. It’s available in a few colourways too! 

Here’s some inspiration for your own Art Deco projects.

Take a plain and simple box and add some vintage glamour with this unique vinyl project. It’s available as a project ready to make in Design Space.

Dragons symbolise power, wisdom, strength, and knowledge. Channel your inner dragon with this Dragon Wall Platter project using Art Deco vinyl.

Holographic Threads

This multicolour holographic vinyl with a fine thread effect adds texture and depth to your makes. Choose from different colours and samplers to create your projects. 

Take a plain jar from boring to fun with this honey bee decal in gun metal and gold Holographic Threads Vinyl.

This paw and heart border – image #MA944032 in Design Space – instantly adds glamour to your furry friend’s meal times.

Mosaic Vinyl

Add instant sophistication to your project with this fabulous foil effect that looks like shimmering metal shapes in a mosaic arrangement. 

The vinyl version of Mosaic has a clear background to make the mosaic tiles really shine. You’ll find multiple shapes of mosaic from circles and squares, to stars and even mermaid scales! 

This stellar decor looks so incredible, people won’t believe you made it. But with a mixture of plain and mosaic vinyl, a wooden circle (or plate) and this project in Design Space, you can!

Mosaic Iron-On

This luminous holographic iron-on material arranged in marvellous mosaics brings a sense of wonder to every creation. Use this brilliant heat transfer material to create unique fashion that’s so you and add brilliant accents to party and home decor. Far out shapes, logos, and phrases are all a cut-and-press away with this easy heat transfer material.  

Available in multiple colours and in either circle or square shapes, this iron-on gives a touch of disco to every project you use it on! 

Follow this helpful guide containing instructions for How to Use Mosaic Iron-On.

Simply search ‘mosaic’ in the Design Space project library to follow a quick Ready-to-make project and have a finished design in minutes. Projects include home decor, apparel and gifts.

Don’t forget to share your creations with us; tag us on Instagram @officialcricut_uk or Facebook @officialcricuteurope!